I have read the interview of the Ukrainian Special Envoy for the Middle East and African countries, M. Subkh, published in the issue of “Reporter” on October 15, 2022. I did not find anything new in his statements about Russia: the same Russophobic attitude, distortions of facts, combined with outright lies, typical of Kiev. Since the interviewee tried to smear Russia—my homeland and state, which I represent as an ambassador, I consider it my duty to respond to Mr. M. Subkh’s slander.
Since February 24, the Russian Federation has been conducting a special military operation in Ukraine. Its main reason is the policy of genocide of the population of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, unleashed by the Kiev authorities immediately after the overthrow of the legally elected president, V. Yanukovych, in February 2014.
All those who disagreed with the results of the coup were declared terrorists. For eight years, the Kiev regime conducted a bloody “anti-terrorist operation”. The entire arsenal of heavy weaponry of the AFU—tanks, artillery, aviation, and tactical missiles—was widely used to fight against imaginary “terrorists”—civilians, women, children, and the elderly. In all other regions of Ukraine, the persecution of dissenters was accompanied by a flourishing of widespread nationalism, which became intertwined with the neo-Nazi ideology professed at all levels of government. The Ukrainian authorities systematically violated human and minority rights, trampled on freedom of speech and the media, fought against the Russian language and culture, and exterminated political opponents. The murder by ultra-nationalists of peaceful protesters in Odessa in May 2014 will remain a black page in Ukraine’s history.
Despite Russia’s tremendous diplomatic efforts to promote the implementation of the Minsk agreements, approved by UN Security Council Resolution 2202, Kiev has systematically avoided a political settlement that could have brought lasting and sustainable peace to the country.
Mr. Subkh claims that Russia allegedly “never implemented” the Minsk agreements. This means that Kiev’s high-ranking emissary either does not know or deliberately glosses over the words of his own president, Mr. V. Zelensky, who said that the Minsk Package was only needed to keep the sanctions imposed on Russia in place. His predecessor, P.Poroshenko, was even more outspoken, a couple of months ago, publicly admitting that neither he nor anyone else in Ukraine had any intention of implementing these agreements. Kiev needed them only to buy time, obtain weapons from Western countries and prepare for a war with the Russian Federation.
For all these years, Ukraine, which had turned into a totalitarian Nazi state, was pumped with Western weapons. Eventually, in 2018, the masks were thrown off and a provision was added to the Constitution of Ukraine stating that joining NATO is one of the strategic goals of its foreign policy. Thus, the country began to be positioned as a bridgehead for the NATO military bloc, which directly threatened the Russian Federation. All this was happening against the backdrop of the global destruction of the global security architecture, the refusal of the United States and NATO to provide security guarantees to our country.
Against this background, the position of the European Union, which has been generously funding the Kiev regime for many years, is particularly cynical. The EU’s decision, taken on February 27, 2022, to start supplying lethal weapons to the Ukrainian military is self-defeating and marks essentially the end of European integration as a “pacifist” project to reconcile the European peoples after World War II.
The recent statement by the head of European diplomacy, J.Borrell, that the settlement of this conflict should be achieved “not at the negotiating table, but on the battlefield,” clearly demonstrates the EU’s total unwillingness to contribute to a political resolution of the conflict.
It is striking, how satanically, literally in a race, Western countries are pumping Ukraine with more and more technological and modern weapons. The cost of such supplies is approaching USD 20 billion. Even E.Musk, an icon of modern business, has come to Kiev’s rescue, putting the Starlink system at the service of the Ukrainian military.
Let’s turn to the legal side of the issue. Both the Americans, the NATO and the EU say that they are not parties to the conflict in Ukraine. But if this is the case, then the provisions of the relevant Hague Conventions, adopted in 1907, should apply. One concerns the obligations of neutral powers in naval warfare and the other-in land warfare. They state that “neutral” states are only those states that are not parties to an armed conflict. I would like to remind you that Article 6 of the maritime convention explicitly prohibits the supply of warships, ammunition, and any property by non-parties to any of the belligerent parties to the conflict. Thus, by supplying weapons to Kiev, the United States, the European Union, and NATO cannot claim to be neutral and not participate in the conflict.
In addition, the “land” convention explicitly prohibits the opening of recruitment points on the territory of neutral states. Mr. M. Subkh apparently forgot to mention how a number of Ukrainian diplomatic missions tried to openly recruit citizens of African countries to participate in the “holy war” against Russia, which caused the legitimate indignation of the authorities of these countries (Nigeria, Senegal, Algeria, etc.). The Western countries, by allowing this to happen on their territory, demonstrated that they were not bystanders, but direct participants in the conflict.
I would also like to draw attention to the fact that it is the United States that is the main sponsor and supplier of weapons to Kyiv, which uses them to attack civilian and industrial facilities. Agricultural enterprises that produce agricultural products, which the West says are needed by the poorest countries, are also being shelled. When they are shelled with U.S. weapons, the U.S. somehow immediately forgets about the needs of the poorest countries. Moreover, the collective West hypocritically shifts the blame for the worsening global food crisis onto Russia.
The author of the interview even went so far as to accuse Russia of using hunger as a “tool to manipulate African states and spread false information”. Well, let’s look at the numbers: the countries that suffer from hunger constituted only three percent of the recipients of Ukrainian shipments. Thus, the statement of Mr. Subkh that Africa is a priority for Ukrainian grain supplies, to put it mildly, is untrue.
As for the so-called “grain deal,” there is a clear bias in its implementation. If the Russian side fulfills its obligations in good faith to allow ships carrying Ukrainian agricultural products through (even if, as I previously stated, the majority of it is destined for non-hungry countries), Western ship owners, insurance, and banking structures are in no hurry to assist in the export of Russian grain and fertilizers. What is really needed from the Russian side and is ready to be sent to the countries in need – is blocked. In other words, the “exemptions” from unilateral sanctions for fertilizers and food proclaimed by the United States and the European Union do not work in practice. And who, speaking the language of the Ukrainian diplomat, is “spreading false information”?
Russia once again confirms its readiness to export about 30 million tons of grain (and is ready to increase this volume in the next year to 50 million tons or more), as well as over 20 million tons of fertilizer. I assume that such issues as the threat of hunger and the prevention of a global food crisis should not be politicized and subject to any preconditions.
Returning to the issue of conflict resolution, I would like to draw attention to the recent decree of President Zelensky on the impossibility of negotiations with the Russian president. It should be recalled that Kiev itself first asked Russia for peace talks at the end of February this year. Then it interrupted them, leaving our proposals of 15 April unanswered. Even then, it was obvious that this was done at the behest of the West, which acted as the puppeteer of the Kiev regime, pushing it toward a “war until the last Ukrainian”.
Experts call everything that is happening now an “indirect war” between Washington, London, and Brussels and Russia, in which Ukrainians are destined to play the unenviable role of “expendable material”. In reality, it is a hybrid war. The goal of the West is to strike at our country. They have long tried to do this in economic, humanitarian, and political terms. Now they have gotten their hands on the use of weapons put into the hands of Ukrainian citizens and mercenaries from around the world.
Briefly about the explosion on the Crimean bridge: The investigation into this crime revealed that it was a terrorist act that was prepared by Ukrainian services to destroy a major infrastructure facility critical to the Russian Federation. Even Ukrainian Foreign Minister D. Kuleba admitted as much. The enthusiastic response to this terrorist attack on the Crimean bridge was also heard from officials from NATO countries, who vigorously congratulated the Kiev regime on the successful operation. I think that by doing so, they drew a line under any doubt as to who was really behind the incident. The same thing can be said about the explosion on the gas pipeline Nord Stream in the Baltic Sea.
The Kiev regime has long been actively using terrorist methods for political purposes. By doing so, it has effectively put itself on the same footing as international terrorist groups, so it is simply impossible to leave crimes of this kind unanswered. The response to the terrorist attack on the Crimean bridge and other attacks on civilian infrastructure organized by Ukrainian services was the use of precision-guided weapons against Ukrainian energy, military, and communications facilities.
As Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized, our country’s response to all terrorist acts and sabotage against Russian critical civilian infrastructure facilities will be tough and on a scale appropriate to the level of threats posed to the Russian Federation.
For eight years, Russia has been calling for the protection of the Russian-speaking population of another country, Ukraine. In response, we were told that it was another state, that we should not dare to think about these people, that they would deal with them themselves. Through tremendous suffering and civic courage, we tried to get the world community to care about their fate, and they have become part of our country.
On September 23-27 in Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Kherson, and Zaporozhye regions, referendums on self-determination were held, according to which the absolute majority of the residents (in different regions, from 87 to 99 percent) voted for joining the Russian Federation. The referendums were held in full compliance with the UN Charter, the norms and principles of international law and the 1970 Declaration of Principles of International Law. The latter guarantees the territorial integrity of states, but only those whose governments “without distinction as to race, creed or color, represent the entire people living on the territory”. It is absolutely clear that the Kiev authorities, who use terrorist methods against their own civilians, did not and do not meet this criterion at all. The decisions adopted at the referendums in the four now former Ukrainian regions are a response to the atrocities of neo-Nazi Ukraine and the realization of the long-standing aspirations of the people to reunite with their historic homeland.
I would like to stress once again that no threats from the West will change our determination to bring the special military operation to its logical conclusion. And all the goals and tasks, including the protection of the population of Donbass, the elimination of threats to Russia’s security, and the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, as the Russian leadership has repeatedly said, will be accomplished.
Ambassador of Russia in Ethiopia